(Warning: lengthy post. Don't read if you don't wanna.)
Remember my plane ride from hell?
When the plane I was on was circling Sibu airspace for 2 hours, I found a copy of Malaysian Business magazine to entertain myself. I was flipping through the pages when I saw this.
WAHHH!!! Damn yao-yeng! I thought it was Andy Lau until I read the words 'Jeff Ooi'. Makes me wonder why he used that black-and-white picture on his site instead.
I tried to look for a picture of myself on the magazine, but the closest thing I found that resembled me was this.
I'm ashamed to admit this, but a long long time ago (before I started blogging) I was actually NOT a big fan of Jeff Ooi and his blog.
I can't remember exactly why I didn't like Jeff Ooi. Perhaps it all started when I read that he's Malaysia's Most Influential Blogger and I wondered where he got that title from. I'm always skeptical when someone or something was described with a superlative. It reminded me of some kopitiam claiming that they have "Malaysia's Best Laksa", "World's Best Satay" , etc.
Remember when Andrea Fonseka won the title of Miss Malaysia - "Malaysia's Most Beautiful Woman" last year?
My sentiments exactly. If Andrea Fonseka is Malaysia's Most Beautiful Woman, I reckon I can be CLEO's Most Eligible Bachelor.
I mean, the whole thing is kinda subjective isn't it? Who granted Jeff Ooi that title? Was there some Influential Blog Measurement Committee? It seems like Malaysiakini.com started calling him that, others blindly followed the lead, and before you know it everyone is calling him "Malaysia's Most Influential Blogger". (Henceforth abbreviated as "Malaysia's M.I.B.")
There's once I logged onto jeffooi.com and to read some of his entries. I was expecting him talking about his life stories and shit like that, but what I got was boring newspaper-like articles. I used to think to myself - does anyone actually read his entries from start to finish without actually falling asleep? I had better fun reading my VCR's manual. How about "Malaysia's Most Boring Blogger" instead? Oh wait, that's me.
Speaking of boring newspaper articles, just let me digress a bit...
See I have this thing against the local news media, right - and Jeff Ooi does that as well. Whenever they report something about what some big-shot minister said, they always insist on putting the position, the title AND the full name of that person.
For example, everytime The Star writes something about our prime minister, they would refer to him as The Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi. In full, without abbreviation, without failure.
I don't know if I'm the only one here, but my mind automatically switches off after three syllables and everything after that turns into gibberish. So whenever the newsreader says Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, my mind would process it as Datuk Seri Aduh-I-wanna-go-wee-wee.
Given the fact that these Datuks seem to make it onto the news all the time, everyone's name just sounded the same. I can't differentiate between them. And that's what makes the local newspapers and Jeff Ooi's blog so difficult to read.
Anyway I didn't like people referring to him as Malaysia's Most Influential Blogger because that's subjective and debatable. I thought people call him that because he helped influence them to go to sleep. If it were up to me I'd call Uninhibited Online's Shweet Young Thing Malaysia's Most Influential Blogger - since she never fails to influence an erection on me.
I didn't know when exactly that I start to change my opinion about Jeff Ooi. But I'd point out two recent events that made me actually read his blog in depth and not just skimmed through it like I normally did.
The first was the March 28th Asian Earthquake. When the earthquake occured, I had just finished typing my entry and updated the bloggers' portal when I noticed the link to my entry "kennysia.com's Bandwidth Has Exploded" felt kinda out of place swamped by dozens of other entries titled "EARTHQUAKE!!!!" I rushed to the telly. TV1 shows soccer, TV3 shows basketball... something wasn't right. I went back to my computer and my first reflex was to check out jeffooi.com. By 2am, he had already reported on the tremors and aggregated several other blogger's account of the situation.
More recently its the StreamyX fuck-up (for lack of a harsher word). Almost everyone with a broadband connection in Malaysia experienced the slowdown and almost everyone was screaming profanities at TMNut and its boh-chap attitude making light of such a grave situation. Whilst many of us are content putting up with TMnet's incompetance, Jeff Ooi took the proactive approach questioning the ISP's handling of the situation and pushing them for better services, just so that we can all
download porn faster... enjoy faster internet service.
See, we're brought up in a country where the newspapers are controlled by the government and sedition laws silenced voices of the opposition. We're brought up in a place where it is considered wrong to question the authorities, where we are expected to open up our mouth and swallow whether they feed us meat or shit.
To question the authorities or to push them for explanation is considered disrespectful, or worse, unpatriotic. People swallow their dissatisfactions instead of voicing them out, fearing their name will enter the ever-so-MYTHICAL so-called "black list". (I'm sorry but there's no such thing as a black list.) Eventually, the-powers-that-be realised that they can get away with stupid things like spending money researching how to bring teh-tarik into space, and continue to feed us so much shit that we think its meat.
The sad fact is that newspapers in Malaysia are no longer a credible source of unbiased stories, unless you are more interested in ministers hitting gongs and cutting cakes. In times like this, we need ombudsmen like Jeff Ooi, Mack Zul, and others. Detractors who view them as whiny bitches seriously need to ask themselves, "Am I 100% perfectly happy with my country? Is there REALLY NOTHING the authorities can do to improve?"
I apologise for the lengthy entry. But hey, its the weekend. :)
Thanks for reading this far,
aka "Blogger with the Biggest Balls in Malaysia"